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ERIC Number: ED458865
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Focusing on the First-Year Student.
Gardner, John N.
Priorities, n17 Fall 2001
This issue examines the problems and issues that affect students in the first year of college and reviews current institutional efforts to enhance the learning and retention of first-year students. It also offers a set of suggestions for trustees who seek greater understanding and more active engagement in campus decisions related to the first year. The first months, weeks, and even days on campus are the time in which students make decisions about whether they want to pursue higher education seriously and whether a particular institution is the right place for them. Research evidence makes it clear that resources invested in the first-year student pay off. The best programs for first -year student seminars involve outstanding faculty members, last a full term or longer, involve a high percentage of the first-year students, and are challenging, credit-bearing, degree-applicable courses. One of the most promising approaches if that of learning communities of thematically linked courses for single, and usually small, cohorts of students. Service learning, academic support services, and health education are areas through which the experience of the first-year student can be strengthened. Trustees are advised to help the institution make the first year a high priority. Several case studies complement the discussion. (SLD)
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. 1133 20th Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-356-6317; Tel: 202-296-8400; Fax: 202-223-7053; Web site:
Publication Type: Collected Works - Serials; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, Inc., Atlanta, GA.
Authoring Institution: Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Washington, DC.
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: Published three times a year. Theme issue. Produced with Michael J. Siegel and Marc Cutright.